Archive for the ‘interview’ Category




“Sometimes, I get feedback from those who read it, other times I will never know if Dishonor made any sort of impact. But, I am so glad that I have an opportunity to share my story. God is constantly at work, drawing people to Himself. To be used in any way in this process is the greatest honor. It blows me away that He allows us to be a part of His mission.”

“Describing me as a high strung individual, is a fairly accurate description… During the day, I often feel as if the entire world is crashing down around me. If I can complete just one of the many tasks I need to do, the entire universe settles in a sense of order and accomplishment.”



rem:  Hullo David, and welcome to Robin’s Nest. Tell us three things about yourself that no one knows.

DAVID:  1. I can bend both my index fingers backwards rem: OUCH  2. I learned how to swim by watching my children take lessons. 3. Almond M&M’s are my favorite candy.



rem:  Cookout—steaks or burgers?

DAVID:  Turkey burgers. Turkey tastes better than beef!

rem:   I’ll take your word on that… Coke or Pepsi?)

DAVID:  I am a fan of Coke, however I just recently quit drinking soda and have switched to unsweetened tea. (Lowering sugar intake, trying to stay alive longer…)

rem:  Coke for me too—but only when my blood sugar dips and only for the sugar. Otherwise, it’s unsweet tea 24/7. Over or under or monster?

DAVID:  Over of course.

rem:  Ten points!! Fishing or hunting?

DAVID:  I don’t eat seafood and I am forbidden from owning a gun by the federal government. So I have to say neither.

rem:  I shall claim your portion of seafood. Vacation: beach or mountains?

DAVID:  Beach

rem:  Such a soothing sound.


rem:  Do you have a favorite Bible verse? And why is it a favorite?

DAVID:  Romans 8:1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.

This is my favorite verse because to me it means that we are totally forgiven from our past and that we belong to Him!

rem:  YES and AMEN!! (Romans is my favorite book in the Bible!) If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?

DAVID:  I had to really think about this one. I really enjoy Craig Groeschel’s writing and sermons so maybe him or Francis Chan. Either of those guys. I would love to catch a just a little bit of their passion and conviction.

rem:  Seems to me your passion and conviction shows up loud and clear in what you’ve written. Are you a reader? Fiction or non? What are you reading right now?

DAVID:  I listen to books on Audible because it’s more convenient for me. Most of the books I read are bios and memoirs, especially stories about overcoming great obstacles in life. Many are military in nature, however I just finished The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton from a recommendation. It was very good.

rem:  I can see why those powerful stories would appeal to you. When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you?

DAVID:  What makes a story is the ability of the author to pull me into the story so well, that I am visually there. What breaks a story is when I feel like it’s dragging along and I am getting nowhere.

rem:  True on both counts. You have a different writing journey to most authors I interview, but you have an invaluable message. What is the essence of your message?

DAVID:  What I want people to take away from my book is that, we don’t have to be defined by our past. We can find total forgiveness in what Christ did for us on the cross.

rem:  YES and AMEN times two! How did your book come about?

DAVID:  As a military child and having moved around my whole life, I have always been a storyteller. When the fact that I had been in prison came up in conversation, people wanted to hear more. After sharing details, almost everyone would say, “You need to write a book!” I was given the advice to blog first, then compile the blog posts into a book. So I wrote and posted my book on my blog a thousand words a week for three years. It was such good advice because, my story developed a following which assisted in the success of my launch. (Of course God had His hand in the whole thing.)

rem:  I’d say it worked well indeed! You are a living and vivid example of Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

What was the turning point for you?

DAVID:  There were several turning points for me. 1. After a drug relapse in prison, I got a letter from my dad stating he would risk his job, reputation and life on the fact that I would never do drugs again. God showed me that I was hurting the people that loved and cared about me. I swore off drugs forever. 2. Hearing a preacher on the radio say that God forgave all my sins 2000 years before I was born. I didn’t have to beg for forgiveness anymore because I was already forgiven. I just needed to rest in this truth.

rem:  Powerful—there are no words [to respond.] What would you do differently?

DAVID:  Just say no to drugs.

rem:  You said in a phone call to your parents, “They said that they were praying for me but, I wasn’t really listening, I just wanted to let them know I was fine.” As a mother of grown children, I have watched them make foolish decisions and understand a degree of the angst your parents must have felt.

You turned a deaf ear to their faith, but could you feel or sense the Power of their prayers? How so?

DAVID:  It is hard to explain but at one point, I felt a very clear physical pressure surrounding my body to turn myself in to the authorities. I had my mind made up that I would even die through suicide by cop, rather than go back to jail. So I know that the feelings I felt were not my own. I was being guided and directed by the Holy Spirit because of all the people praying for me.

rem:  Powerful. (and encouraging to this mother) Father has brought you into a fulfilled and very different life. You said you told your wife (then fellow student) “not to even get close to [you.]” Clearly she didn’t heed your warning. How did your relationship develop?

DAVID:  My wife was actually a student of mine; I was her instructor. At that time, I was not planning on staying in Omaha. I was working on moving back to a previous job in England. I feel like God placed Lindsay in my life. We fell for each other and God has kept us together. My life has been better ever since.

rem:  Gotta love when God places people in our lives—for whatever reason. Before we go, I gotta speak to your “Humorous Life Lessons.” (Making people laugh and smile seems to be one of my gifts.) I read your “Skullnelly” bit—love it! What is your favorite “Humorous Life Lesson?”

DAVID:  You have to read my story Crappy Day in the Library I really put myself out there in that one. (Here is the link) http://dilemmamike.com/2018/01/22/crappy-library-day/

rem:  OH! MY! GOODNESS! I was rolling on the floor! Poor kid!! One more question for ya—do you think you’ll write another book? Why or why not? BONUS: Fiction or non?

DAVID:  My goal is to take all of the Humorous Life Lessons and compile them into a smaller book than my first. It seems like I write best when it is about myself, so non-fiction.

rem:  Sign me up for that one!! Anything you’d like to add?

DAVID:  “Get off your ask.” I heard someone say this at a conference. It means when you need help, reach out to someone. So many people helped me along the process of writing that I couldn’t have done it without them. Find a community and work together. It’s hard to make it on your own and why would you want to. You will be surprised to find out how many people out there are willing to lend a hand.

rem:  I have and am experiencing this in my life, both in the writing community, and in my recovery (from surgery.) David, thank you so much for chatting with us at my little nest today!



“One of the things I learned from this whole experience was that no matter what adversity I faced, I knew that I could make it. Not on my own strength or will, but by the grace of God. It was He who’d carried me through this journey.”











“1 Peter 2:9 (NLT) …For he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

You do not have to be defined by your past, you have been forgiven and can have a new identity in Christ.

“If you have an incarcerated friend or family member or know someone who is struggling with the guilt and shame from their past, I will send a copy of Dishonor to them. Contact me through social media.



#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, Author Interview, David Mike, Dilemma Mike, Dishonor



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“If the golden rule of writing is to do unto other writers as you would have them do unto you, that’s a pretty easy assignment.  It could be summed up thusly: good will, good wishes, and a good plug.”

“Walk a mile in your character’s shoes.  If he or she has a penchant for gambling, spend a day at a casino. If they have a green thumb, get your fingers dirty in the garden or hang out at a nursery.  If they are a beach bum, I can think of worse things than sipping piña coladas in a hammock for the sake of research.”


rem:  Hullo Gary, and welcome to The Nest. Tell us three things about yourself that no one knows.

GARY:  1. I’m a decent cook as long as it’s five ingredients or less.

  1. I’ve seen every episode of Catfish.
  2. My first real job training was for the IRS. Don’t hate me.

rem:  Cooking is good; Catfish I only know as something to cook… And IRS, what a fabulous source for story ideas and plotlines!!!



rem:  Cookout—steaks or burgers?

GARY:  If I’ll be eating it outside, burgers.

rem:  Of course! Coke or Pepsi?

GARY:  Coke, because I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.

rem:  Best reason I’ve heard all day! TP: Over or under or monster?

GARY:  Please don’t tell me there are monsters in my bathroom.

rem:  You didn’t hear it from me. Fishing or hunting?

GARY:  Neither.  I can’t even kill a bug without remorse.

rem:  Then who, uh, catches those catfish to fry??? Vacation: beach or mountains?

GARY:  Amusement park.

rem:  Ohhhh yessss!! All the roller coasters!!

rem:  Do you have a favorite Bible verse? And why is it a favorite?

GARY:  Revelation 21:4, about there being no more death nor crying nor pain. Who could ask for more?

rem:  What a glorious time that will be! If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?

GARY:  Paul McCartney. I have so many questions about so many songs. It would be the most exhausting night of his life.

rem:  I love Paul McCartney! And Wings at the Speed of Sound! What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?  How has being a writer / songwriter / producer impacted your relationship with Christ?

GARY:  That there is a genre dedicated to those who write it and read it testifies to its popularity and power. For other writers who just happen to be Christian, writing for the general market is a way to reach secular readers who might avoid any religious branding. Whichever your calling is, the privilege to be a light to the world through one’s talents is a gift that I’ve come to appreciate more each day.

rem:  Yes! Be a light in the darkness. I fall in the latter of those, and call my genre Faith Fiction. When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you? Your fiction pet peeve?

GARY:  Creative, evocative wordplay draw me in.  What turns me off is when the writer has an obvious agenda that overshadows the story.  Even when I agree, it’s poor writing.

rem:  No kidding! Even in Christian Fiction, some stories are overwhelming with the message—which prompts me to put it down and not pick it back up. Which is more important: plot or characters?

GARY:  I’d say plot.  Even a great character gets boring if the story doesn’t go anywhere.  But many a weak protagonist (Sleeping Beauty, for one) has been saved by a good plot.

rem:  Interesting. And very good point. What are you reading right now?

GARY:  Understanding Show, Don’t Tell (and Really Getting It) by Janice Hardy.  It is absolutely brilliant.

rem:  Nothing so boring as a bleh info dump in the middle of a story. Tell us a little about your creative journey. How did you get started?

GARY:  I grew up in a family where everyone was a musician or an artist, or both.  I was one of the boths, and added a love for writing to the mix. After winning a few art contests, I planned to become a cartoonist. But a career in broadcasting has kept me more focused on the writing and the music.

rem:  You wear a lot of hats—writer, songwriter, and producer. Which came first? Which is dominant?

GARY:  Songwriting definitely came first.  I have a recording of the first song I wrote when I was about ten, a frantic piano tune that would only be at home in a silent movie police chase. Of the three you mentioned, music comes easiest to me, whether playing or composing.

rem:  I miss having a piano, and may be a tad jealous… As a singer and musician, I am fascinated by your eclectic taste in music, and songwriting. What are some of your favorite jingles or parodies you’ve written?

GARY:  I may be proudest of the advertising jingles I did for Polaroid (which tells you how long ago that was!) and a church campaign called “Isn’t It Better Together”.  As for parodies, my favorites are usually the most recent ones I’ve done, such as my overeater’s take on “I Heard It through the Grapevine”, called “I Put It on My Waistline”.  rem: LOL

rem:  You are an “avid analyst” of entertainment. What does that mean and what does it involve?

GARY:  It means I can’t just sit and enjoy movies or music!  I do enjoy them, but I’m also deconstructing every detail to figure out what makes it work or not work.  I’ve learned more from picking up on mistakes than I’ve probably learned from any textbook.  This media junkie can’t get enough of movies and music because it’s a continuing education that makes for a fascinating study.

rem:  Oh.My.Goodness, yes! I tend to do the same thing! What is your role at Southern Writers Magazine?

GARY:  As Creative Director, I designed every page and did much of the editing and some of the writing.  I actually resigned this spring because my broadcasting work had accelerated to the point where I just couldn’t keep up with both, much less tend to my own projects.  Southern Writers is a wonderful publication and I enjoyed being part of its first seven years.

rem:  I sure enjoy the posts there! What is your favorite part of working with authors on the magazine?

GARY:  Over 1000 authors have been in the magazine, and I made lots of friends who I continue to stay in touch with.  Learning from them and experiencing their passion for writing recharges my own.

rem:  I love-love-love the writing community, and the friends I’ve made and continue to make. You have written short stories in anthologies. Where might we find some of your stories, and what is one that stands out in your memory? Why is it significant to you?

GARY:  Most of my short stories were in local anthologies that are out of print, but one called “Family Tree” appears in Stories of Music, Volume Two, which is available on Amazon and includes an audio version. That story is special to me because it’s my true story about a disconnected family which music helped reconnect.

rem:  Oh my! I’mma have to find this and read it! I’m all about family. (and more than a little bit familiar with disconnected / dysfunctional family… ) What do you enjoy most about being a writer / songwriter / producer?

GARY:   I’ve always loved taking disparate things and rearranging them into something new and cohesive.  A good example would be the Oscars Best Picture parody I create every year for the Parody Paradise YouTube channel.  Writing new lyrics within the confines of an existing song (in this case a Best Song nominee) while describing each of that year’s Best Picture nominees in a succinct way, selecting and editing video clips to fit, and attempting humor all at the same time is a huge creative challenge I look forward to every February.

rem:  How fun is that! What other projects are you working on?

GARY:  I voice and produce the radio and TV spots for Christian recording artists on tour.  Right now I’m doing a lot with Mark Lowry and David Phelps, who are always performing somewhere.  I also voice audiobooks on Amazon.  The most fun one so far was the autobiography of Ken Osmond, better known as the infamous Eddie Haskell on Leave It to Beaver.

rem:  At this point I’m tempted to ask if there’s anything you haven’t done… You have a new book coming out.  Tell us a little about it?

GARY:  I have a novel and a collection of short stories in the works, but on the front burner currently is a nonfiction book offering a unique approach to songwriting.  I’ll actually be doing a related presentation soon for the Memphis chapter of ACFW, called “Secrets of Song and Story Structure”.

rem:  Memphis ACFW will enjoy that, for sure. What is YOUR favorite part about songwriting and why do you want to share it? Why should we read it?

GARY:   Having been privileged to dabble in most of the creative arts, I find music the most personally satisfying.  I feel sorry for anyone who doesn’t know the thrill of expressing oneself through words and/or music.  I want to help others by giving them a shortcut to connecting with their elusive muse.

rem:  As a singer and musician and dancer and actress and an author, I know that thrill very well. Where can we find you online?

GARY:  My website is www.garyfearon.com, with too much info about me but also some audio and video that I hope is entertaining.

rem:  Anything you’d like to add?

GARY:  Yes!  I’d like to invite everyone to please join my mailing list through the website.  You’ll be the first in line for songwriting secrets and free instructional videos.

rem:  Awesome, Gary, thanks for the invite! On my way there now… Thank you so much for chatting with us at my little nest today!

GARY:  Thanks for the invitation, Robin!  Much continued success to you and to everyone who took the time to read this!



“Where words fail, music speaks.” Hans Christian Anderson









“Whether we hear them from someone else, or live them in our own lives, every day we are witness to countless moments that could be the starting point for the next story or scene we write.”



#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, Interview, Gary Fearon, Writer, Songwriter, Producer


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“A writer’s life isn’t supposed to be frustrating, it should be filled with wonder, discovery, and passion for putting words and stories on paper. Embracing who you are, or who you want to be, will allow you to find your niche in the writing world and help you enjoy an amazing life as an author or artist.”


“A master novelist paints his story with dynamic two-dimensional characters. The characters are woven into the story like puzzle pieces. Each is important to the final picture, but standing alone they bring no significant revelation to the final image… Two-dimensional characters create a believable setting, which allows the main character to spring into life. With careful planning and placement these characters often go unnoticed.”


rem:  Hullo Cyle, and welcome to Robin’s nest. Tell us three things about yourself that no one knows.

CYLE:  I like My Little Pony. I abhor onions. And I was a high school all-american wrestler.

rem:  I have a daughter (grown now) and two granddaughters—I’ve had my fair share of My Little Pony! And I cannot stand onions, either! (unless they’re cooked)



rem:  Cookout—steaks or burgers?

CYLE:  Burgers

rem:  Gotta agree with ya, there! Beer in a bottle or a can?

CYLE:  Neither for both – Sparkling Ice

rem:  Ooohhh, a rebel! Over or under or monster?

CYLE:  Monster

rem:  Rebel two for two. Fishing or hunting?

CYLE:  Neither – Video Games

rem:  Ya lost me on that one…  #notafanofvideogames

Vacation: beach or mountains?

CYLE:  Mountains

rem:  Ohhhh, yeahhhh!!!!! Blue Ridge or Rockies, just something so peaceful and majestic there.


rem:  Do you have a favorite Bible verse? And why is it a favorite?

CYLE:  1 Cor. 15:33 – It is a guiding verse for all relationships


Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”


rem:  No better guide than that. If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?

CYLE:  Author Orson Scott Card

rem:  Hmmm, a new name to me. What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?  How has being an author / agent impacted your relationship with Christ?

CYLE:  Christian Fiction is written to share a message or worldview. It has allowed me to expand my ministry beyond my local church.

rem:  Exactly! Fiction can go where we otherwise might not. When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you? Your fiction pet peeve?

CYLE:  Bad Grammar

rem:  Noooo kidding!! Which is more important: plot or characters?

CYLE:  Characters

rem:  ‘Cause ya gotta care about the peeps, right? What are you reading right now?

CYLE:  The Escape Artist by Brad Meltzer

rem:  Also a new one to me; will have to check it out. Tell us a little about your writing journey. How did you get started?

CYLE:  I always wanted to be a writer. After my daughter was stillborn, I began to write my thoughts down to help communicate to family. That journey spurred me back into writing and I went to a writer’s conference soon after.

rem:  So sorry to hear about your daughter, Cyle. I understand the value of writing your thoughts, and have done the same; it was, in fact, what started me on my writing journey.

You wear a lot of hats. Tell us about the courses you offer at Seriously Writer Academy.

CYLE:  I offer courses to help self-published and published authors. Marketing course on Targeted Facebook Ads, Amazon Ads, and Bookbub Ads. I also have classes on writing a children’s picture book proposal, binge writing, and winning at winning contests.

rem:  And oh! how we authors appreciate you sharing your wisdom and expertise! How did A3 come about? What is its purpose and what is your role there?

CYLE:  I wanted to grow my personal platform as fast as I could… so I started a group blog and invited 40 other writers. Two years later it has grown beyond what I could have imagined becoming a Writers Digest Top site for Writers in 2018.

rem:  Sounds like a God thing to me! Congrats! Regale us, if you would, with your Hotel Saga Stories from last summer.

CYLE:  I have had some crazy hotel stays for sure. I went to a pastor’s conference in Lancaster, PA. I arrived around 12pm and they had given all the hotel rooms away. They instead offered me the Bridal Parlor… it’s not an actual hotel room. The toilet was broken. We had to shower 5 floors up in the spa, and the windows had no window coverings. They also rolled in beds for us that came equipped with what I like to call “bed belts”. I strapped myself into my bed and fell asleep to the bright Neon light outside. The room had mirrors everywhere. It would be very nice for a bridal party… but not for sleeping in.

rem:  ROFL  er, I mean #SMH  I remember when you did live feeds when that was happening!! So glad you survived! What do you enjoy most about being a writer / agent?

CYLE:  Getting book contracts for clients.

rem:  Methinks your clients like that also! #winkwink  What are your top 3 recommendations for a new writer? What 3 things would recommend not doing?

CYLE:  Build Platform. Go to conferences and pitch editors. Get an agent.

rem:  Yes, yes, and yes. How do you choose your characters’ names?

CYLE:  I just make them up for Fantasy books. For other stories I pick the name that I think fits the best.

rem:  Ah, the advantage of fantasy worlds and names no one’s ever heard before! How fun is that!! Do you think of the entire story before you start writing?

CYLE:  No, I’m a pantser. I write by the seat of my pants.

rem:  Yay for Pantsers!! Tell us a little about your latest book? What is your current project?

CYLE:  I just signed contract to co-write a Michigan Football Motivational book that releases in 2020.

rem:  Congrats! I do seem to recall that you are a fair Michigan fan…  #winkwink What is YOUR favorite part about the book or why do you love this book? Why should we read it?

CYLE:  It’s about Michigan Football!! Go Blue!

rem:  Of course! Why else? Tell us about why you wrote this book.

CYLE:  I played football for four years at UofM, so I am passionate about my alma mater.

rem:  That’s so great, Cyle. Nothing like the connections we’ve made along the way! Where can we find you online?

CYLE:  www.cyleyoung.com

rem:  Thank you so much for chatting with us at my little nest today!












“Dreaming is not a waste of time, it is a necessity to rescue and redeem our limited time. I challenge you to ask God to awaken the dreams he’s sown into your soul and spirit so long ago. Stop listening to the naysayers and the doomsdayers. Blow off the dust, take it in your hands, hold it close to your heart, and nurture that dream until it becomes all that God says it will be.”




#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, Author / Agent Interview, Cyle Young


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“I’ve always had voices—er, stories in my head. I once said I should write them all down so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!”



“Break the rules. That’s my number one rule. I know the rules [of grammar] and I know how to break them.”

I did it to myself, really. Again. Well, sorta. I loved this series, but it was a challenge to pull it off. I figured I’d have time, and truly I do, to format new interview questions and get peeps lined up, and posts queued up. But I will not scramble and I will not do them sloppy for the sake of having a post.


And with my surgery coming up, now less than three weeks, I made the executive decision just now to defer my July Man Blitz to August this year, and hold off on interviews till then.












 “There is freedom waiting for you, On the breezes of the sky, And you ask “What if I fall?” Oh but my darling, What if you fly?” – Erin Hanson




#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, On Break, ON BREAK Mode, Seasons, Surgery and Recovery, Gotta Breathe

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“My world came to an end the day I jumped off Versailles.”

“The comforting words of dearest friends are a soothing balm to a jagged soul.”

I watched and listened as an observer, looking through a window to a time long ago. It tugged at memories I did not have—or could not recall—sending a chill through me; who was i and why had she kept me from this place?”


rem:  Bonjour, Madame, bienvenue. So wonderful to have you here today.

SIMONE :  Oh do call me Simone. You of all people know me so well.

rem:  Indeed—Simone. You’ve brought your friends with you, I see.

SIMONE :  Well, my story truly wouldn’t be complete without them, non?

rem:  It surely would not. Bienvenue, Mesdames—welcome back, I should say.

PEARL:  Delighted, I’m sure.

SCARLETT:  Madame, it is an honor to visit with you again.

MERCEDES:  Always a pleasure.

rem:  Ladies, it’s been quite the turn of events. What can you tell me of the day that started it all?

SIMONE :  When Mamá—died. That’s what started it all.

rem:  Simone, I’m so sorry. I know how awful that was for you.

MERCEDES :  We were girls still. None of us truly understood what had happened.

rem:  It’s hard to fathom regardless of age.

PEARL :  Truer words were never spoken.

rem:  Pearl, this all had an horrific impact on you as well.

PEARL :  Yes, well, it did. But—looks to Simone—I’ve come to realize takes her hands that you were her victim far more than I.

SIMONE :  embraces Pearl

SCARLETT :  What a tangled web it all was.

rem:  Indeed.

MERCEDES:  It all comes down to the Truth, and whether we believe Holy Scripture.

PEARL:  Lissette surely didn’t.

SCARLETT:  Nor Papá…

SIMONE :  He did in the end, Lett. He did in the end.

PEARL:  Well, isn’t this supposed to be about Simone? smooths her pink silk skirt

SIMONE :  Oh, Pearl. Always the supercilious one. winks

SCARLETT:  Pearl is a dear. And she’s right. smirks at Simone  This is rather about you.

rem:  Oh my. I don’t guess I’ve seen you four be so silly with one another.

MERCEDES:  Oh, Madame. This is quite tame.

SIMONE :  Well… mock condescending tone  This IS supposed to be about me, so… becomes serious  Mercedes is right. We were girls still, and couldn’t begin to fathom all that was at play.  deep breath  I jumped off that old church countless times. And that day…

SCARLETT:  It was awful for you.

PEARL:  It was awful for all of us.

MERCEDES:  takes Pearl’s hand  We, none of us, knew the impact to you then.

SIMONE :  sighs  I wasn’t trying to drown, truly. looks to her friends  Truly, how many times had I jumped? Not from Versailles only? But the barn and trees and… breath hitches

PEARL:  Yes, well. You always did give us such a fright.

SIMONE :  Mamá was… gone. And Papá… I’d never seen him act so. Of course now I realize he was mourning. But… But at the time, I thought… SOBS

Pearl and Mercedes and Scarlett all embrace Simone

rem:  Simone, Mesdames, I am so sorry for your loss.

SIMONE :  shaky breath  Madame, Robin, it is I who apologize to you.

PEARL:  Stuff and nonsense, Simone. We’re here to talk about you.

SIMONE :  smiles  Yes, well… I only ever wanted to escape. I never wanted to run away. I wanted to swim downstream and climb out and be by myself in the woods. For a while, at least.

rem:  And we all know that didn’t happen. When did you suspect Lissette wasn’t truly ta mére?

SIMONE :  I think I always knew. But I was just a child. I had no reason to question her and I didn’t know to follow or trust my instincts. She couldn’t have known, of course, that I’d have amnesia.

SCARLETT:  Or that she took the wrong girl.

SIMONE :  No, she… Well. No, but it worked out better for her that I couldn’t remember.

rem:  What would you have done if you’d not lost your memory?

PEARL: What could she have done?

rem:  She’s Simone, remember?

everyone laughs

SIMONE :  Touché, Madame. Touché. winks at Pearl  You are so right. If I had not lost my memory, I would have found my way home, to be sure.

rem:  You were a most ingenious and clever little girl.

MERCEDES:  She was that.  all laugh

SCARLETT:  I wonder… If Simone hadn’t come back, would any of the rest of us—well, how different it would have been.

PEARL:  Well, of course it would have been different. Except for Mercedes, of course. She would have got her letters.

SCARLETT:  Would you have left, too?

PEARL:  tilts head, pauses  I’m sure I… perhaps not.

MERCEDES:  There is a time and season for everything. I’m sure Le Seigneur had—has—His plan and purpose, and we all would have been reunited one way or another.

rem:  Very true words, Mercedes.

SIMONE :  There she goes again. laughs  Always so pragmatic.

PEARL:  I think that was more Spiritual.

rem:  What is the sweetest part of being home, Simone?

SIMONE :  Papá. He has been restored. Not to me only, but to his right mind.

rem:  Grief can be a crippling companion.

SIMONE :  Indeed.

PEARL:  Well said, Madame.

SCARLETT:  Merci, Madame, for telling our story.

rem:  Mes chères, it has been my pleasure and my privilege. As has been chatting with you again.

SIMONE :  Always glad to be here, Robin.

MERCEDES:  You have told our story well, Robin. I thank you, we all thank you, most graciously.

PEARL:  You helped me more than you know, Mad—Robin.

rem:  I will cherish you all, always.

SCARLETT:  As we will you.

MERCEDES:  Till we meet again, then.

rem:  Indeed. winks at Mercedes You know your little Agnes has her own story?

SIMONE :  What? Aggie?

SCARLETT:  How delightful.

PEARL:  You must tell us all about it.

rem:  All in good time, Mesdames. All in good time.

SIMONE :  Merci beaucoup. For everything.

rem:  My pleasure, Simone. My pleasure.











““Mercedes?” I could barely breathe. I didn’t remember this woman. The name only tumbled in my mind, tugging at memories I couldn’t see. I don’t know how but I knew I could trust her. Still…”



““NO!” My throat raw already, my scream was jagged and panicked and desperate. “No!” I didn’t want to see it, I didn’t want to remember… Not this. I didn’t want to remember this.”




#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, The Silent Song of Winter, Seasons Series, Character Interview, Simone Dubois Bishop, Mercedes Townsend Renaldi, Scarlett Fontaine Sheehan, Pearl Marchand Grüber  

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BLOGWORDS – Friday 25 May 2018 – rem INTERVIEW – HEART WINGS


for the full interview – http://www.heartwingsblog.com/2018/05/robin-mason-giveaway/




“Maybe you have to know the darkness to truly appreciate the light.” —Madeline L’Engle


CARYL:   What genre(s) do you write? And what made you choose that genre?

ROBIN:   It chose me! As many of you know, I cannot market as Christian Fiction even though my faith shows up in my stories. But so do a scarce few “no no” words, and that disqualifies me. So I’ve made up my own genre, Faith Fiction. #winkwink

Because for all the ugly I write, Father is there. I’ve seen and lived through some ugly stuff, and though sometimes we want to question how this could happen, Holy Spirit has shown me that regardless of what happens, He is with us.

And that’s what’s in my stories.

Allow me to share the words of my sweet friend, Carrie Schmidt, when she reviewed The Silent Song of Winter recently:


“In her novels, Mason wrestles with some of the darkest parts of human nature. But she also wraps each story in the loving arms of Grace… A realization that the words of Scripture are God’s heart written just for her. A new awareness that she is a child of the King who is dearly loved. As this transformation takes place in Pearl’s heart, it touches every area of her life – with some very moving results.”




CARYL:   Are you a blogger? Does you blog have a theme? Have another’s blog site favorite?

ROBIN:   Yup! Robin’s Nest is all about family and friends gathering and hanging out. And books. I follow so many blogs it’s ridiculous, but Carrie Schmidt (above) has become a dear and precious friend. I have a readers group on Facebook as well—Robin’s Readers Flock! *would love to have you join us!

CARYL:   Where do you write?

ROBIN:   In my comfy little nest. I’m on the loveseat with all my necessary accoutrements readily at hand.


CARYL:   What are you working on now? Have a new story going?

ROBIN:   Welll…. I thought I was heading into a new series, The Steppe House (which incidentally will feature a truly minor character from the series just finished) but a singleton that I’ve been playing with for years has just informed me it’s actually the first in a series. FourSquare is four stories of twins, the first of which is One for the Price of Two. In which Bethy and Mere are so identical even their parents can’t tell them apart. It’s a departure from my previous genre, what I’m calling Romancedy. And I do plan to have fun with it.

Neighbor kids have also asked me for stories, so I’m working on some kid stories. And a series for each of my granddaughters.


CARYL:   What advice would you give an aspiring writer?

ROBIN:   Do it. Don’t wait. It’s like having kids, you’ll never “be ready.” And there’s never a “good time.” I open my first blog post with, “I’ve been thrown in the deep end.  Of a deep ocean.  In a tidal wave.” Truly I had no clue. But I learned as I went. But I did it. I writed. And you can too.


CARYL:   Have you always written in this genre? Why did you choose it?

ROBIN:   Women’s fiction, yes. Historical, no, I did not start off with that. Faith fiction, absolutely—before I even realized it, or named it!


CARYL:   How do you begin, organize your research?

ROBIN:   I keep a notebook and clipboard next to me, as well as a folder for each story, and subfolders. Couple of critical docs are who’s who, with names and birthdates, and who’s married to whom, etc. Notes of things that show up like the name of a store or a teacher or neighbor, what kind of car so-n-so drives. And because Seasons was such a compact timeline, I printed out calendar with each day so I could write when a particular / critical scene or event happened.


CARYL:   How do you develop your characters? Choose their names?

ROBIN:   Rather like making new friends. I meet them (and they tell me their names) and get to know them as I write. * and make notes in the above-mentioned docs


CARYL:   Which character took you by surprise?

ROBIN:   In my first novel, I was surprised to learn that a certain character whom I had thought was but a passing and minor role, was, in fact a praying person, and therefore quite the important behind-the-scenes role!

CARYL:   What about setting, how do you choose it? A familiar place or distant?

ROBIN:   The story chooses it for me. But I do locate the area on google maps and “borrow” (a) town(s) for my purposes.

CARYL:   Who did you dedicate your book to and why?

ROBIN:   Because Seasons is about four friends, I dedicated each of the books in this series to one of my best friends: Cyndi, Karyn, Donna, and Dana.

CARYL:   Is there one particular message or “moral of the story” you hope readers walk away with?

ROBIN:   Father is always there. I know we read it in Scripture, but to live through the darkness of this world and know He is with you.


CARYL:   What would be your dream vacation? Destination and mode of travel?

ROBIN:   Ireland, don’tcha know!

CARYL:   What is your favorite season, and why?

ROBIN:   Spring—it’s a (ahem) robin thing.

CARYL:   Tell us about your family, children, ages, pets?

ROBIN:   I’m all about family. I have three grown kids, and two beautiful granddaughters. My daughter and her 12 year old daughter live across the street. My sons live in the area but not so close. My other granddaughter is 8 and she lives with her mom in another town.

I have four kitty babies, Jasper, Juniper, Jake, and Penelope.


CARYL:   When did God first call you into this ministry? How has this changed you?

ROBIN:   Allow me to summarize a blog post I wrote last year that answers these questions. When Father created me, He instilled creativity in me. … for years I [attempted to] shoved that creativity into a nice little box. It didn’t stay… I tried for years to be something I’m not… In discovering who I am and more importantly, who I am in Him, I discovered my purpose. … The more I discovered my identity as a writer, the more I discovered who I am in Him—which feeds my identity as a writer, which feeds who I am…


CARYL:   What was your initial response?

ROBIN:   I had no idea it was actually ministry!


CARYL:   Please share a testimony of a time when God moved mightily.

ROBIN:   My oldest son has been sober since 20 February 2017. He asked me a few years ago to stop preaching to him, i.e. sharing anything God related. My heart cringed and I didn’t think I could do it. But Holy Spirit whispered to me to honor my son’s request so I did. That act witnessed to him more than any words I could ever say. BONUS: Holy Spirit can and will and does work more in my son’s life than I ever could. (and sometimes for all our good intentions, we interfere with His work!)



#Blogwords, Rem INTERVIEW, Heart Wings, rem Interview, Faith Fiction, Robin’s Nest, Robin’s Readers Flock

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“My world came to an end the day I jumped off Versailles.”

“The comforting words of dearest friends are a soothing balm to a jagged soul.”



I watched and listened as an observer, looking through a window to a time long ago. It tugged at memories I did not have—or could not recall—sending a chill through me; who was i and why had she kept me from this place?”


rem:  Bonjour, Madame et Mademoiselle, bienvenue. Merci for visiting with us today.

VIOLET:  Oh! I’m so happy to be here! Isn’t this exciting, Suzi?

SUZETTE:  Lovely to be here, I’m sure.

rem:  You were both witness to your sister’s tragic fall. What can you tell us about that?


VIOLET:  I was so small still, just two years at the time. I had seen Mona jump a number of times before. I don’t know how I knew but that last time was different…

SUZETTE:   She died. I knew she had died.

VIOLET:  It scared me. I remember being scared.

SUZETTE:   We weren’t supposed to be there.

VIOLET:  We were always there. You always took me.

SUZETTE:  I didn’t understand why Mona wouldn’t let me go with them. She always said I was too little. But Scarlett and I are the same age.

rem:  Perhaps it was because you are her sister.

VIOLET:  giggles

SUZETTE:   Yes, well, I suppose.

rem:  And after she fell, you ran back to the house.

SUZETTE:   I couldn’t let them know we had been there. Couldn’t let them know what we had seen.

VIOLET:  You scared me.

SUZETTE:  I know I did, and I’m sorry for it. I was frightened. The woods, the river, it was evil that day. I felt it in my bones.

VIOLET:  You told me not to tell.

SUZETTE:  nods

VIOLET:  You told me never to tell anyone about it.

rem:  And you never did.

VIOLET:  nods

rem:  You never spoke at all after that day, correct?

VIOLET:  I was so scared. Mercedes would see me in the nursery or outdoors, and I remember it frightened me. I was too little to understand, but I suppose I thought she knew I had seen what happened. That perhaps… I don’t know. Just the thought of her frightened me. Because she had been there, too, I suppose. And seeing her made me think of it…

rem:  What of Pearl and Scarlett? Did it frighten you to see them, too?

VIOLET:  Oh, they didn’t come around anymore after the… the accident. Leastways, not for a very long time.

rem:  What of you, Suzette? Were you frightened, too?

SUZETTE:  I was, yes, but not for what had happened. We weren’t supposed to have been there, and the guilt of it… I know it would have happened, she would have jumped whether we saw it or not… But Vi…  sobs

rem:  That wasn’t your fault, Suzette.

VIOLET:  Oh, goodness, no! Suzi, have you blamed yourself all these years.

SUZETTE:  blinks

VIOLET:  Suz, darling sister, it wasn’t your fault.

SUZETTE:  But… sobs & shudders  but I took you there…

VIOLET:  Suzi, we often followed Mona.

SUZETTE:  I told you not to say anything…

VIOLET:  You did, yes. But—how did you say it? Just now? There was evil in the woods that day. looks at Suzette, takes her hands  I was little but I felt it too.

SUZETTE:     blinks

VIOLET:  That’s why I didn’t speak after that day.

SUZETTE:   Not because I…

VIOLET:  Darling sister, no, not because of anything you said. I don’t even remember you telling me that.

SUZETTE:   Truly?

VIOLET:  Truly.

rem:  Oh my goodness. What a burden you’ve carried all these years Suzette.

SUZETTE:   smiles

rem:  Your Tante Vivienne took care of you in your mother’s absence, correct?

VIOLET:  pause  I only ever thought of her as… as our mereswipes at tears  I… I… never really remembered Mamá.   sobs

SUZETTE:  Vi… hugs Violet and weeps with her


VIOLET:  My apologies, Madame.

rem:  No apologies necessary.

VIOLET:  I have only shadowy memories of… notre mamá. I know she was a dear, a sweet lady.

SUZETTE:  She was, yes.

VIOLET:  She looked like Vivienne, yes?

SUZETTE:   nods

rem:  What about now? Simone is restored to you.

VIOLET:  Oh, yes, indeed!

SUZETTE:   tilts head  You knew, didn’t you? You knew she was alive?

VIOLET:  I didn’t know really, how could I?

rem:  But you saw her, correct?

VIOLET:  I did, yes.

rem:  I think we’re getting ahead of ourselves.  winks  Suzette, you are quite involved with Women’s Suffrage. What can you tell us about that?

SUZETTE:  Truly, I think it began that day. When Mona jumped, it seemed the world came to an end. I knew very little, really, about what had happened to Mamá—I saw what Lissette did. Before Mamá died. It’s why she was in an invalid chair. I was sitting with her on the front steps and she was singing to me. I know she was pushed, and right after, I saw Lissette in the trees by the gazebo. She never knew I saw her, I’m sure she didn’t.

rem:  No one believed you.

SUZETTE:  There was such a commotion. And I was just a little girl, five years old. They all thought I was telling fanciful tales.

rem:  How did that impact you?

VIOLET:  Suzi, I never knew that!

SUZETTE:  Yes, well. I knew Lissette was a very ill woman. I heard the stories like anyone else. And I had seen her lurking about Saisons—she had her eye on Papá.

rem:  And how did that connect to the Suffrage?

SUZETTE:  Mamá was dependent on Papá for everything, and before him, on her own papá. Lissette, for as much as she… as much as she was independent, she sought a man for his wealth, for his privilege. I decided I wanted to fight against that. A woman oughtn’t be beholden to a man for her livelihood or her freedom.

rem:  As a woman of the 21st century, I thank you for your efforts. Ladies, I believe we should wrap this up before we tell the whole story right here.

SUZETTE:  Indeed. Vi can talk you ear off.

VIOLET:  I’ve a lot of time to make up for. winks

rem:  I thank you both for visiting with us today. I know it hasn’t been easy to talk of some of this.

SUZETTE:   Not easy, no, but good to talk about it. About Mamá. I enjoyed being here.

VIOLET:  I, too, have enjoyed our time. Thank you for inviting us.











““Mercedes?” I could barely breathe. I didn’t remember this woman. The name only tumbled in my mind, tugging at memories I couldn’t see. I don’t know how but I knew I could trust her. Still…”



““NO!” My throat raw already, my scream was jagged and panicked and desperate. “No!” I didn’t want to see it, I didn’t want to remember… Not this. I didn’t want to remember this.”



#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, The Silent Song of Winter, Seasons Series, Character Interview, Suzette Dubois Fenn, Violet Dubois

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